Beginning as a foster care caseworker in 1989, Susan has spent nearly 30 years in the field and successfully conceived of and implemented system and organizational reforms. Most recently, she spent four years as the CEO of You Gotta Believe (YGB)—one of the few agencies in the country focused solely to connect teens and young adults to permanent families before they age out of foster care. For YGB, she successfully navigated a pivotal and challenging redesign of business and practice models, diversified funding, and positioned the agency for the next stage of contributions to older youth permanency. She also pioneered the Nobody Ages Out Movement with a youth-led advocacy and programming strategy.
During nine years with NYC’s Administration for Children’s Services (ACS), including four as Associate Commissioner for Child Welfare Programs, most of her efforts were focused on issues of permanency and she was instrumental in the implementation of ACS’s efforts to reduce reliance on residential care. She also spent several years with the Mental Health Association of NYC, providing a wide range of training and capacity-building services to community-based agencies. She advised and supported the City’s Coordinated Children’s Services Initiative, which serves as a vehicle for cross-system collaboration to improve the social and emotional well-being of children and youth within New York City’s system of care. Currently, she
serves as a co-chair of the Citywide Oversight Committee, working to improve services for children served by multiple systems.
Susan’s life was transformed when she became a foster/adoptive mom to two teenagers. Experiencing the system through their eyes has added another level of complexity, urgency and passion to her commitment to systemic change.
Uniquely positioned to serve as your thought partner and permanency influencer, Susan has ready access to a vast network of local and national experts in child welfare, and both government and private leaders in human services and technology. She is a creative thinker and dedicated to working with systems and organizations on innovative approaches in the child welfare and other child serving systems. She serves as an independent consultant to foster care and community providers, and also works on systemic reform projects as a consultant with the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s Child Welfare Strategy Group.